Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Leadership—it is a word we use often, but are rarely able to neatly describe. There is good leadership, bad leadership, active leadership, and leadership that is less engaged. While there are many styles and brands of leaders, we do expect leadership to be transformational. We hope to see change as a direct result of the actions of the leader—and almost always, positive change.
Transformational leaders are almost always the most misunderstood, and they are sometimes even hated by the very people they are called to serve. The reason for this is because transformation requires change—the element that most humans actively try to avoid. We have a natural inclination to desire bigger and better things, but we want new things with as little change as possible…unless we can get away with no change at all. To complicate matters more, transformation demands radical change in multiple areas simultaneously. It’s like a makeover—we begrudgingly go through the process, but love the outcome in the end.
There is undoubtedly a lack of moral clarity in the United States of America. This is not a new discovery. In fact, a muddled model of morality has been in existence for decades, if not a century. However, current events have exposed the absence of clear moral voices that can define and articulate “a better way.” By our silence, as a corporate body, we have ceded ground to vague morality. Our silence has not been a verbal silence, but a lack of a clear example and model. If the government rests on Christ’s shoulders (Isaiah 9:6), then the church has been the intended vehicle that God uses to usher change in the earth. I have heard many Christians suggest that we should not engage in discussions on politics, race, gender inequality, creation care, etc. They believe these “divisive” topics should be left to governments or someone else to tackle. However, since the earth belongs to God (Psalms 24:1), it would be negligence and bad stewardship for the church to remain silent in our effort to express God’s will on every subject in this world. Perhaps our uneasiness rests in the fact that we as a church struggle morally on these same issues. Transformational leadership calls for less verbal preaching and more empowerment by example. Like Christ, we must make ourselves be of no reputation, identify with pain of the people, and then lead them by example to a better way. The end goal of transformational leadership is not as much about vanquishing “evil,” as it is about leading by example in a way that compels people to engage in their own transformational processes.
Transformational leadership requires that we be the first partakers of the radical change. In essence, it demands that we examine ourselves and surrender every idea and action that is ungodly (no such thing as “little sins”, “big sins”, or even “preferences”—the standard is whatever God requires). Our nation and the world are asking for transformational leadership. It has always been the domain of Christ’s body to rise to the occasion every time direction is needed. This series on transformational leadership will explore ways that we can gracefully and confidently step into the role that God has called us to hold.
Lord, we desire to be the leaders that you have called us to be. We want to see this world transformed after your will, and we desire to be your agents of change. Enlighten us, and transform us, that we might know your good, perfect, and acceptable will. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds (Romans 12:1–3)
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